the camel?... page 2
with the show!
this time, there was a fair bit
of interest in our work in the
media and on the local scene. At
least once a week, group of journalists,
off-duty soldiers or schoolchildren
were shown around the hospital.
After a few months, we fell into
a steady working pattern of dissection,
sketching and rendering. I usually
had at least three or four pen and
ink or watercolor renderings on the
go, so if I got stuck or bored with
a piece, I could go on and make progress
elsewhere, then come back to the
'troublesome' piece with fresh eyes
a few days later.
cool, subterranean basement office (cool,
because my previous upstairs office was
not air conditioned...)
The project was only supposed
to go on for one year, but within months Malie
realized that there was more camel than we could
cover in such a short time and so funds were
solicited from the sponsors to cover an additional
six months of work. Malie ended up writing the
chapters on the skeleton, joints and muscles
as well as parts of the digestive tract, the
urogenital tract and the central nervous system.
When her sabbatical year was over, there was
a two-month hiatus: just enough time for me to
return to North America to experience reverse
culture shock, pick up more art supplies, and
embark on a two-week backpack adventure in Egypt before
resuming work on the project. The last six months
of work were carried out under the direction
of Braam Bezuidenhout, also from the School of
Veterinary Medicine at Onderstepoort. He was
accompanied by his indefatigueable wife Hannie.
Malie had a no-nonsense, 'steady-as-she-goes'
work ethic, Braam was a little more relaxed
about his progress; when he felt stumped,
or just needed a break, I knew I could
find him outside the hospital building
binoculars looking for unusual birds, or
perhaps catching a few winks under his desk.
They are two of the most honest, caring
and hard working people that I have known
and I treasure the time we spent together
with one of the juvenile camels purchased
from the local Bedouin and embalmed for
dissection. The strong nuchal ligament
holds the head erect.
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